Solemnity of All Saints (Nov 1)
RV 7:2-4, 9-14, 1 JN 3:1-3, MT 5:1-12a
On All Saints Day I like to remind myself that being a saint doesn’t mean being flawless. It means acknowledging our flaws and taking responsibility for them; in particular when our flaws lead us into behaviors that are hurtful or destructive to ourselves and others.
I believe God is truly closer to sinners than to saints (i.e. flawless people). It’s evident in the Gospels where we see clearly that Jesus spent most of his time with the most emotionally wounded, abandoned and marginalized people. He chose the abandoned, emotionally wounded and marginalized to be his Apostles. He chose imperfect people because there were no perfect or flawless people to choose.
Say it out loud! THERE ARE NO PERFECT PEOPLE! None of us can be perfect, and that’s OK because it’s all part of God’s plan. We are wounded inside and God is the ointment that we ache for to heal our bleeding inner-emptiness. How do we heal? By accepting our imperfections and admitting that we are powerless over our broken nature. This admission allows God to nurse our wounds.
Admitting to our personal brokenness also allows us to learn to take responsibility for our mistakes. When we are no longer hiding behind a smokescreen of perfectionism, we are free to own our errors and to make restitution. This is what makes us true saints.
A saint isn’t a sinless person. Only God is sinless. A saint is a sinner who takes responsibility for his/her mistakes instead of hiding behind denial or shifting blame off onto others.
Fr. Charlie Wehrley, C.Ss.R.—Cortaro, AZ